President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that Panama Leaks became a reason of political instability in the Country which has drawn worst impacts on the economic situation causing the 13 years higher GDP growth rate of 5.8 percent to only 3 percent for the current fiscal year as expected by the IMF. The economic instability has been visible from the performance of Pakistan Stock Exchange which has faced reduction of $ 41 billion in term of capital since the all time high of $ 99 billion on May 24, 2017 to just $ 58 billion on October 12, 2018.
The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that the political instability in the Country which has begun after Panama Leaks has resulted in the current economic instability and capital reduction of $ 41 billion shows real instability in the Country’s economy. Several issues have risen given to economic instability including devaluation of PKR, declining foreign exchange reserves, widen trade and fiscal deficits. Given to economic situation, the USD has been appreciated by approx. 25 percent and Government has formally requested for IMF bailout package.
The former minister said that the IMF bailout package is though needed due to financial constraints but to make the Country stronger and financially independent in the long run it is vital to bring changes to the industrial and export sectors. To cover the $ 35 billion trade gap, export sector needs revolutionary measures in addition to overall incentives for the industrial sector. Uniform gas tariff for Punjab as of other Provinces has help to reopen 100 closed textile industries in Punjab, but to overall improve the situation of industries in term of production and export several incentives desired by the industry need to be announced.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that PTA’s recent crackdown against illegal and unregistered phones will help closing the illegal trade of mobile phones and will help widen tax net after inclusion of big mobile phones’ industry. According to official announcement all unregistered will get closed after October 20, 2018. Finance Minister Asad Umer said that to curb smuggling, use of technology will increased which will also help in stopping illegal trade in future. According to facts, there are 150 million mobile phone users in Pakistan 70 percent of which are using smart phones. With inclusion mobile phone industry in tax net, Government revenues will get improved in addition to curbing the use of mobile phones for illegal and terror activities.